They got their start with the luminescence and then the crown guard for waterproofing.
Now while that seems like every fifteen dollar quartz watch has those features today... Panerai were at the forefront of some of these developments. So much hinged on those elements that the model names are based on it.
Also, DNA by definition undergoes change, it's not static. mutation occurs constantly, usually for the better... But not always.
So I'm fully on board with the new direction. It's 2018, waterproof, 8 days, glow in the dark are a given.
So now they're having to innovate in new directions with new materials and methods. In house, ceramic, carbon, bmg, it's all great. Also out of my price range, but that's ok cause they're still making "entry level” models.
But the goal, the road, the "why"... It's the same:
Newer, better, cooler, tougher. (Ok, I'll give you that they abandoned tougher with the spring bars and weak wr rating).
I like the look, that's why most of us ended up here. And I know they'll hold on to that iconic design language.
But they've made their bones on first, forward thinking developments.
And I think that's where we're headed.
Mike...NYC. My collection so far is a 312 and some cool straps.